In a recent study by HubSpot, 54% of respondents said their biggest challenge is “gaining brand recognition.” Which makes perfect sense if you think about it: After all, when you’re starting a business, you’re often operating in the shadows of well-known brands. It can be difficult to get your product or service recognized among your competitors.
The good news is that with a little bit of strategizing, you can use the web to your advantage. Below, we’ll discuss how to market your business online — including how to engage with your audience and how to discover the right types of content to create.
Create compelling content
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already pretty aware of the importance of content marketing to your business. While traditional, inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers and inspiring them to take action, content marketing helps you establish your expertise and engage with potential customers all while providing valuable, educational information.
The thing is, creating content doesn’t have to be difficult. Thanks to the proliferation of blogging platforms like WordPress, creating blog posts is easier than ever. But beyond the ease, creating high-quality content that’s completely unique can be challenging. This is where you come in: As the person in charge of marketing your business, you’ll be responsible for developing strategies to grow your website traffic and brand recognition.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, read on. We’ve put together a list of 15+ tips on how to market your business online that will help you along the way. Consider this your ultimate guide to helping your business grow. Let’s get to it.
1. Create compelling content that will make your ideal customer think twice.
Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or a newbie, you’ll soon discover that creating compelling content isn’t as difficult as you’d think. As the person in charge of marketing your business, you have a wealth of knowledge about your product or service. From the outset, you’ll know what makes your ideal customer tick and you can use this to create content that will engage them.
In general, your content should aim to answer these questions:
- What is your product or service?
- How does your product or service solve a problem?
- Why should your product or service be chosen over your competitors’?
- What is the next step?
- How much does it cost?
- What are the benefits?
Keep this in mind as you create content for your blog: Your ideal customer will only read information that is relevant to them. So don’t just throw in some text on your blog with no relation to their problem. You’ll never get the attention of your target audience if you do that.
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to create compelling content is to use examples. Whether you’re describing the features of your product or service or comparing them to those of your competitors’, using examples makes your content more digestible. What’s more, using real-life scenarios makes your content more relatable. If you want to get this right, publish a case study outlining your process for something that is relevant to your target audience’s problems. You can even head over to HARO and get a free case study from a top market research firm.
2. Content is accessible
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re also aware of the importance of being accessible to your audience. In today’s world, having an accessible website is a must. According to HubSpot, 49% of survey respondents cited “being accessible to customers” as the biggest challenge facing their business. While everyone’s situation is different, you’ll soon discover that creating an accessible website isn’t as difficult as you’d think. With a little bit of effort, your business can have a fully functioning, mobile-friendly website that’s perfect for anyone to discover.
To create an accessible website, you’ll need to consider how people with disabilities interact with your site. If you’re fortunate enough to have someone on your staff with accessibility knowledge, this will be an easy task to delegate. Otherwise, it’s something you’ll need to become an expert in yourself.
3. Optimize your content for the right platforms
If you’re looking to gain the most traction with your content, you need to consider where your ideal audience is. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most popular platforms that businesses rely on to achieve success.
- Blogger: If you’ve got a passion for writing, consider going down the blogging path. Having your own blog can be a powerful tool for establishing your expertise and gaining credibility with your target audience. When creating your blog, pick a platform that’s been designed with businesses in mind — like Blogger.
- Instagram: If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to gain notoriety and spread your message, consider going the Instagram route. In the past year alone, the platform has grown by 400%. So if you’ve got an interesting story to tell or you want to provide some valuable information about your industry, consider sharing your content on Instagram.
- YouTube: If you’re looking to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, consider creating videos and sharing them on YouTube.
- Snapchat: Similar to Instagram, Snapchat is another popular platform with over a billion monthly active users. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to share some exciting news or provide valuable information, consider using Snapchat.
- Facebook: While Facebook isn’t used as much by businesses nowadays, it’s a popular choice among people who want to establish themselves as a thought leader in their industry. If you’re looking to gain credibility with your audience, consider creating a Facebook page for your business.
These platforms aren’t going anywhere, and they’re likely to remain popular for the foreseeable future. This means you’ll want to make sure your content is designed to suit these platforms.
4. Develop an editorial calendar
As we’ve established, content is important. However, so is planning and scheduling content. While it’s natural for content to come thick and fast once you’ve started writing, this doesn’t mean it’s helpful to just dump content willy-nilly into your blog.
You’ll want to develop a content schedule. This should be a regular occurrence, something you do every month or every quarter. Having an editorial calendar allows you to plan out an editorial strategy and ensure consistency in the kinds of content you create.
This consistency is incredibly important. Customers come back time and time again because they know what to expect from your business. Developing a content strategy and creating an editorial calendar can help you ensure this consistency and plan out a strategy for content marketing.
5. Measure the effectiveness of your content
No one said creating quality content was easy. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts, you’ll need to measure the effectiveness of your content. There are many tools available to help you do this, from Google Analytics to Haro. For beginners, a simple way to test the effectiveness of content is to create a small slice of content (like a blog post or an Instagram story) and monitor the results. If you want to take it one step further, consider using a platform like HARO, which will give you access to a large and thriving audience of potential customers.
The ideal result of a content strategy is to have a steady stream of quality traffic coming in from a variety of platforms. This ensures your content can be found by the right audience — and it provides you with the ability to track the results of your efforts.
6. Use keywords in your headings and content
If you’re looking to gain traction online, you’ll need to consider using keywords in your headings and content. When you’re developing content for your blog, consider using free tools like KeywordTool.io or Keyword Finder to find the right keywords and to discover how many times those keywords are searched for each month.
Keep in mind: The more times your keywords appear in a piece of content, the more likely it is that someone will notice you when they’re searching for content on your topic. So, by using the right keywords, you can ensure you’re reaching your target audience — and that they’re discovering your content because it’s relevant to their needs.